Obama: U.S. wants to ensure world soccer operates with integrity

Mon Jun 8, 2015 12:33pm EDT
 
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KRUEN, Germany (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday made his first comments on the scandal enveloping soccer's governing body, saying the sport is a "massive business" that needs to be run with integrity.

"In conversations I've had here in Europe, people think it is very important for FIFA to be able to operate with integrity and transparency and accountability," Obama told reporters at a news conference after the G7 summit.

Obama said he could not comment directly on the FBI's investigation into bribery and corruption at FIFA.

But he said soccer is not only a game but a business and "a source of incredible national pride," and that the United States wants "to make sure that a sport that's gaining popularity is conducted in an upright manner."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

 
FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces Qatar as the host nation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Zurich December 2, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann